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Alternative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415549257
ISBN-10: 0415549256
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Editorial Reviews

Review

‘In recent years there has been growing recognition that the acquisition of a second language is very much a social as well as a cognitive affair. This volume brings together a collection of articles documenting the various theories and methodologies for investigating L2 acquisition as a social phenomenon. As such, it is an essential purchase for anyone interested in SLA.’

Rod Ellis, University of Auckland, New Zealand

"This book should be an essential resource for graduate seminars in SLA.It is a unique testimony to the vibrancy of the field and to the astonishing complexity of the SLA experience."

Claire Kramsch, University of California, Berkeley, USA

"[A] remarkable effort to provide a comprehensive overview of current trends in SLA by gathering together different approaches in a critical way."

LINGUIST List

About the Author

Dwight Atkinson is Associate Professor of English at Purdue University, Indiana, specializing in second language acquisition, second language writing, and qualitative research approaches.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415549256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415549257
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Dwight Atkinson starts out this volume by establishing that the orthodoxy in second language acquisition research is strongly cognitivist, meaning that language acquisition is assumed to be a strictly mental process. Hence the embrace of Chomsky's splitting off of cognition from behavior (competence and performance) and the prevalence of a computational metaphor that takes language acquisition to involve input, processing, and output. Countering this limited approach, a number of theorists now advocate approaches that view mental processes as only one aspect of a broader picture of language acquisition, one that includes the social context and processes external to the mind. The sociocultural approach, represented here by James Lantolf, draws on Vygotsky's work to describe the way in which mediation may have differential effects on acquisition in different learners. Diane Larsen-Freeman's intriguing chapter on complexity theory in second language acquisition suggests that language may be an open complex adaptive system that "emerges bottom-up from the interactions of multiple agents in speech communities," the precise development of which may therefore defy prediction. Atkinson's own chapter on the sociocognitive approach to second language acquisition posits an "ecological network comprising mind-body-world" that exist in a relationship, as opposed to the "mind-in-a-vat" approach that assumes language acquisition to be a purely mental process. In this view, cognition extends out into the world, forming a closer relationship with it rather than a Cartesian separation. Other approaches covered include an identity approach, language socialization approaches, and a conversation-analytic approach to second language acquisition.Read more ›
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This anthology, edited by Dwight Atkinson, provides an up-to-date and concise but nevertheless comprehensive account of second language acquisition by leading proponents of several alternative approaches to the dominant cognitive paradigm. Added value derives from the fact that all contributions follow the same format of presentation.
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It' a good book to know the most updated SLA theories other than the mainstream cognitive theory. I love it. I lend it to several friends and they all think it is a good book. If you want to get a general idea about the most recent SLA theories, it will be a good choice.
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a Really nice book.
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Gives a godd overwievv of the field and the different theroretical perspectives.
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